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12 lawyers win primaries

Kevin Featherly//August 17, 2020//

12 lawyers win primaries

Kevin Featherly//August 17, 2020//

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Nine DFL lawyers vying for legislative seats won primaries on Aug. 11, as did three Republicans.

Democrats include:

  • Cedrick Frazier, a young attorney from New Hope, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Lyndon Carlson, DFL-Crystal. He outpolled his DFL opponent Daonna Depoister 69%-31%. Both of them got more votes than the GOP candidate, Jesse Pfliger.
  • Kris Fredrick, a former general counsel in Honeywell’s research group who now works for the Mounds View Public School District. He ran unopposed in the DFL primary for Linda Runbeck’s District 38A seat. She is retiring. Fredrick garnered 2,737 votes, outpacing the GOP winner, Donald Raleigh. He got 1,500 votes against two GOP opponents.
  • Ann Mozey, a Stillwater family law attorney, who won a two-way DFL primary contest in the race for Bob Dettmer’s 39A House seat. Mozey reeled in twice as many votes as Dettmer (3,138-1,553), who ran unopposed on the GOP side.
  • Esther Agbaje, a negotiator and lawyer from Minneapolis who beat Ray Dehn 47%-42%, unseating him as a state representative. Agbaje is the child of Nigerian immigrants.
  • Emma Greenman a former public defender who is now a Minneapolis litigation attorney and community organizer. She earned nearly 7,000 votes in a primary that had four other candidates running from three parties. She drew 64% of the vote in the three-way DFL contest as she competes to replace retiring District 63B Rep. Jean Wagenius.
  • Athena Hollins, a former family-law attorney with Michelle MacDonald’s private firm. Now the director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Minnesota State Bar Association, she decisively defeated 18-year incumbent John Lesch, 60%-40%.
  • Jen McEwan, a Duluth plaintiff’s attorney “who fights insurance companies that have denied disabled workers the benefits they are entitled to.” She trounced incumbent Erik Simonson, Duluth’s former assistant fire chief, 73%-27% in the race for the Senate District 7 seat.
  • Bonnie Westlin, a family law lawyer from Maple Grove. She garnered 5,200 votes, winning the two-way DFL primary contest for the District 34 seat currently occupied by Senate Judiciary Chair Warren Limmer. A lawmaker since the late 1980s, Limmer reeled in 3,690 votes while running unopposed on the GOP ticket.
  • Bobby Joe Champion, the incumbent from Minneapolis’ Senate District 59, easily won his two-way DFL primary challenge, taking in more than 10,000 votes.

Three Republican attorneys also won primaries. They are:

  • Greg Pulles, former general counsel at TCF bank and a former Dorsey & Whitney lawyer. He reeled in almost 4,000 votes while running unopposed for the Senate District 44 seat being vacated by retiring GOP incumbent Paul Anderson. But Pulles was outperformed by DFLer Ann Johnson Stewart, a civil engineer, who got 9,286 votes while winning a two-way DFL primary.
  • Mary Giuliani Stephens, an attorney and the former Woodbury mayor, got 2,829 votes in the District 53 primary, while running unopposed. But Woodbury incumbent and Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent took 6,164, while winning a two-way DFL contest.
  • Andrew Myers, a lawyer and city council member from Minnetonka Beach. He earned 2,193 votes in a two-way GOP primary for the House District 33B seat now occupied by Rep. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven. Morrison, running unopposed got 4,562 votes.

Depending on how you slice it, the Legislature currently has 19 lawyer-legislators. That, at least is how many list their occupation as attorney. At least one other lawmaker, Sen. Jerry Relph, R-St. Cloud, is a former attorney. Relph was once the St. Charles city attorney, but no longer practices.

RELATED: Primaries: DFL’s Tea Party moment?

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